Expert Speak: The rise of Creator Collectives
A group of friends who became influencers and creators – the natural and seamless chemistry of creator collectives isn’t the only thing that is working for them. Industry experts talk about how creator collectives as a phenomenon are redefining the space.
They say teamwork makes the dream work, the idiom also explains the massive growth and audience engagement Creators see when they collaborate and work together as a faction
This power and potential of collaboration are not new, in the past, we have seen Actors with a mass appeal collaborating for a movie, or a bunch of musicians forming a band, or comedians working as a duo or a group. While most of these associations have been limited to a film/album/tour, Creator Collectives find a differentiation with consistent messaging and storytelling that contributes to unparalleled fandom
So what is a Creator Collective? In simpler terms, it is a set of content creators who come together as a group to co-create content on social media.
The content is owned and distributed by the creators featured in it or by one creator and others feature only to help Creators.
Global Creator Collectives such as “Hype House” or “FaZe Clan” have established a good precedent for Creator Collectives. Closer to home Team 07 (Faisal Shaikh, Hasnain Khan, Adnaan Shaikh, Faiz Baloch, and Shadan Farooqui) Teen Teegada (Bhavin, Vishal, Samiksha) Atrangz (Awez Darbar, Nagma Mirajkar, Anam Darbar and Zaid Darbar) Damn Fam (Aashna Hegde, Arsh, Aditya Kumar, Ashi Khanna, Sanket Mehta, Manav Chhabra, Unnati Malharkar, Tanzeel Khan and Rishabh Chawla) or the Ourange Jyuice Gang (Saurabh Ghadge, Karan Sonawane, Neel Salekar, Sidhant Sarfare, Shravan Kshirsagar, Shubham Jadhav, and Santosh Mishra).
Individual creators bring in their key strengths to the table and contribute to the growth of the collective and the collective in turn helps creators break a plateau. The Creators collaborate to unleash the power of compounding and exchanging audiences. Millions of social media users follow these creators and cherish their camaraderie. Some of these creators aren’t just working together, some even live together to jam and work towards building the collective brand. They team up on the go and have collectively given birth and rise to some of the popular trends. They cheer for each other’s content and nurture fan communities.
Extending the culture and phenomenon of creator collectives, quite a few Indian Creator Talent Agencies have been investing their expertise in forming and nurturing collectives to unlock the combined potential creators have and build a fan community. From audience exchange to follower growth and incremental engagement or big-league opportunities with entertainment banners and labels, there are numerous benefits that creators get when they are a part of a collective.
Understanding the purpose and impact of these content creator collectives, we at Social Samosa spoke to Hitarth Dadia, CMO, NOFILTR.Group, Vinay Pillai – Vice President, Clout, and members of the Ourange Jyuice Gang.
“Collaboration is not the future, it’s the present. To all the young and budding creators out there – Find a bunch of other creators with flavour and content similar to yours and just produce! It may not always work out at the start, but it’s a matter of time before you figure it out. The Orange Jyuice Gang is one of the biggest artist collectives out there today. Work hard, get the right guidance, and with a little luck, you could be just like them!” Vinay shared his two cents.
“Building a collective is not as easy as it looks. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Finding creative people with similar ideologies who you can trust is difficult. But the rewards are amazing and as we have experienced are life-changing. All of us have failed multiple times in the past, and that’s why we value what we have today. Use this inspiration to keep exploring, collaborating, and creating. Once you see results, addiction is inevitable!” said OJG.
Discussing the rationale behind forming Ourange Jyuice Gang at Clout, Vinay mentioned that they had been noticing patterns of creators growing faster when they collaborate. “Getting random creators to work together is easy, but finding the perfect combination is tricky. Our team at Clout Pocketaces experimented a fair bit before we finally locked on the collectives we wanted to build. Good for us, it all turned out well!” Hitarth who manages two creator collectives under the Nofiltr Group banner – Atrangz and DamnFam laid out the importance of collaborative content and said, “It’s a very natural phenomenon to want to be surrounded by like-minded people. Creator economy thrives on collaboration and building communities. When creators are surrounded by other creators who have similar goals, they form a self-sustaining content creation ecosystem. It’s much easier for each of them to grow holistically. It was an obvious choice for us.
A creator collective can be as big or small as possible depending upon the synergies they share. Hitarth says he would like to consider that there is a formula and they have the formula for same for the ideal and the perfect composition of a collective, but he thinks the logic behind creating a collective is very basic –
“Honestly, there never is an ideal composition or a perfect formula. We would love to say there is a formula and we have that formula but it’s pretty basic – people who think alike and have matching standards of work and lifestyle should work together and stay together. Ideally, a group needs someone who’s good with ideating, someone who is good at articulating, someone who’s good at coordinating/communicating, and someone who’s good at executing. These roles aren’t pre-defined. They’re more or less pretty fluid and the roles are claimed subjectively.”
Resonating to the thought of not having the perfect formula to create a collective, Vinay believes that as long as the creators find out what works for them, nothing else matters. “It’s good to have certain members specialize in one particular talent, but it’s not necessary. Having all-rounders is the way to go!”
The Upside Of Creator Collectives
“The main advantage of being part of a collective is that no matter who gets recognized, everyone wins,” says Vinay. He also thinks that the upside of creator collective is that it’s important to create your own identity so that you don’t get lost.
Talking about the advantages and upsides of the Creator Collectives OJG, one of the popular creator collectives mentioned, “The biggest advantage – Growth! We all jam together, shoot together, act together and even promote each other’s videos, branded or non-branded. There is no jealousy among us. We all want each other to do well. This is not very common in the creator and influencer industry where the competition is so high. The best part is when one of us grows, we all grow! The only downside is it is difficult to always get everyone to ideate and shoot at the same time. Some have other commitments, some have brand meetings and now Neel is married! Luckily, we all stay close to each other and are always connected through calls and texts.”
Hitarth believes that it’s much easier for a creator to think, share, and work on something if there are other creators around who are doing the same. “Everyone needs that additional jolt of motivation every now and then. A collective provides that every day. Obviously, solo journeys have their own perks. But it gets lonely at the top. It’s much more rewarding if ups and downs are shared among your closest.”
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Managing A Collective
For Vinay and Clout, coordination and distributing attention amongst all creators is of utmost importance. “No creator should feel that they are left behind or that someone else is getting all the limelight. With solo creators, the sense of competition is generally less but the attention required is more or less the same. At Clout, we have successfully managed to build our first collective and are in the process of setting up the second. So far, this strategy has worked very well for us!” “Defining roles right at the beginning is extremely important. Everyone wants to feel equally important but the attention you give a creator at 10K followers will always differ from that a 1M creator must receive. At the same time, it’s important to define the creators’ future goals and let them know how you can help them achieve them. This way everyone focuses on their own growth and can limit jealousy to a large extent.” Vinay explains how they address concerns like competitiveness and ego clash in a collective.
For Hitarth and NoFiltr Group, in a collective, the basics are sorted and foundations are set solid. “Everyone has their own individual identities while also having their own individual experiences. When they all come together, a lot of things fall into place automatically without needing any outside overwatch. We can then focus on growing the group as a whole.”
Talking about maintaining uniformity amongst the members of a collective and ensuring there are no ego clashes, he said “We don’t. It’s just a group of friends. They do it themselves. Everyone knows what they bring, so there isn’t much room for ego clashes. Any high-functioning friend group would have a mutual understanding and respect. It’s the same here.”
Functioning Of A Collective
For OJG addressing a creative conflict is very simple, “Whoever comes up with the idea for their page has total control of the concept. They are the director, everyone else is an actor. However, we always hear each other out. In a group of influencers, there will always be creative differences. Everyone has their own style of content creation and that needs to be respected. Hearing each other’s opinions often leads to better ideas and thus, better content!
At the time of branded associations, Hitarth thinks the task becomes much easier when it is for the collective.”Everyone knows what needs to be done. If one individual slack, others take charge and make sure work isn’t getting hampered.” He also thinks Travel, lifestyle, and experiences work well with a collective.
At the moment, there are a handful of Creator Collectives in India but we foresee a growing interest in Creators coming together to work towards a larger goal. Some of these Creator Collectives have a defined vision and business models in place as well. Brands have started including the Collectives in their marketing mix, hoping that we will have success stories to share in the coming times.
Tell us what you think of Creator Collectives as a phenomenon in the comments or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: We have been reporting the different facets of this ever-evolving Creator Economy as Social Samosa Network since 2011, in 2017 we realized that the life and journey of Content Creators need a larger canvas and hence Social Ketchup was formed. Visit here!